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Will my slow upload speed (1MBit cap on my fiber line) significantly reduce the performance of my connection over a VPN? I'm in mainland China and am considering getting a VPS server in Hong Kong running OpenVPN. Here's my speedtest to Hong Kong from where I live:

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And ping from the VPS provider back to my IP address is 33ms on average.

So, latency seems nice, download is obviously nice, but upload is terrible. To what degree does having a slow upload effect the speed of a VPN? Will my download over the VPN be max 1MBit? Or will performance (web browsing, streaming movies etc) be no different than without the VPN?

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As long as the ping is low, the upload shouldn't affect anything at all. I am surprised you can get that kind of speed and ping in China. My Virgin media 30Mbps broadband is just marginally faster. Since I am quite happy with it at home, I'll say you won't feel any lag on the VPN. –  billc.cn Oct 30 '11 at 22:44
    
as billc.cn said, latency is key. While bandwidth limitations might contribute to a bottleneck which will in turn increase your latency, the 33ms average will definitely mean that you will be good to go as long as you stay within your bandwidth limitations. –  MaQleod Oct 31 '11 at 18:03
    
Tried the Hong Kong vpn, was horribly slow. Am using one in San Jose now, ping 155ms. But i am still not sure about my upload and how it affects things. Curiously enough, when i speedtest.net a server at San Jose, the upload speed is 2 to 3mb but my isp caps my upload at 1mb. The ip is located in Minnesota for some reason despite the vps being in San Jose. However as you can see my upload is now 1mb above the isp cap? speedtest.net/result/1568358099.png –  Daniel Gratz Nov 2 '11 at 2:14

2 Answers 2

Used to regularly use VPN's and Remote Desktop over 2 sites ~10 miles apart and both on 3mb DL/~384kb UL ADSL lines. Admittedly the users where only doing basic things over the RD, but with 3 or 4 open we didn't notice any 'unworkable' latancy issues.

As mentioned in your comments - you've found it unworkable, in one instance over here (rural UK) we had a customer with IP cameras on site hooked up to a 'leased line' (unsure of actual UL/DL speeds/rating) that actually found it quicker when converting to ADSL when it became available... This was about 5 or 6 years ago so DSL speeds where only basic (and IP cameras are low traffic).

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Since your connection is capped at 1Mbit anyway, you will not notice a difference. The only thing that you will experience is the addition of latency, which at 33ms, seems very reasonable. I use VPN tunnels to locations with latency > 100ms, and the web still feels quite snappy.

I would say your main concern is getting a good VPS. Ask if you can try it out, see how your latency is, and make sure you have enough resources to encrypt 30mbit. Apart from the usual problems with VPS' (disk I/O) some providers choose to put way too many boxes on a physical machine.

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